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Former Top Nevada COVID Official Reflects On Pandemic Fight

Caleb Cage listens during a news conference with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak last year at the Capitol.
Associated Press

Caleb Cage listens during a news conference with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak last year at the Capitol.

One of the state’s top pandemic fighters has returned to his past life in academia.

After 15 months as director of Nevada’s COVID response, Caleb Cage is back working as a top official in the Nevada System of Higher Education. 

At the height of the pandemic, Cage took part in numerous news conferences each week and worked behind the scenes with local health officials. He also collaborated with elected leaders around the state to develop reopening plans.

He told State of Nevada that a big part of his job was to strike “the balance Gov, Sisolak and his team and all of us were trying to achieve, which was balancing our economic needs as a state as well as our public health needs.”

Cage said Nevadans can be proud of how they generally pulled together, but the partisan finger-pointing that erupted over the handling of the pandemic dismayed him.

“The politicization of this crisis was probably the most disheartening aspect of it for me, and really frustrating,” he said.

Cage said the knowledge he has gained about the state and the connections he has made will help as he rejoins the higher education system. He was named vice chancellor for workforce development and chief innovation officer this spring.

“It’s going to put me in a good place to see where the opportunities are for our public institutions in the state to really partner with private entities … to look at what workforce post-pandemic is going to look like,” he said.

Caleb Cage, vice chancellor, Nevada System of Higher Education

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Mike has been a producer for State of Nevada since 2019. He produces — and occasionally hosts — segments covering entertainment, gaming & tourism, sports, health, Nevada’s marijuana industry, and other areas of Nevada life.